Safe and smooth walking is often a challenge for people with Parkinson's. The practice of certain movements can therefore help to improve coordination, flexibility and balance in everyday life.
"We know that music and dance can improve the mobility and gait of Parkinson's patients," explains Harald Hübner, physiotherapist and member of ParkinsonNet in his video. Using the basic rumba step as an example, he shows how it is possible to actively influence the gait pattern. The individual dance steps are presented one after the other and, at the end, combined with each other in a fluid movement. The special thing about these exercises is that they also involve the partner and can thus ensure a shared sense of achievement.
A large number of different muscles of the entire body are involved in dance movements. The exercises shown here therefore train both mobility and coordination, since both legs and arms are constantly mobilised. This is particularly important for people with Parkinson's, as they are often affected by muscle stiffness and the associated motor limitations.
"I think it is important that a variety of possible levels of movement are shown early in therapy. Experiencing the mechanisms of action of each individual body region, as well as repeated attempts and failures are necessary to ensure a smooth process,” says Harald, who started dancing as a teenager and is now integrating dance steps into movement therapy in his approach. "Moving to one’s favourite music makes people feel good in general and the joy of sharing these special exercises with a partner often makes the limitations of patients fade away."
By training and coordinating complex movements, everyday tasks get easier for patients and they feel safer. Treating movement restrictions in Parkinson's with dance exercises is part of the holistic concept of ParkinsonNet Luxembourg in which patients are taught strategies that make their lives easier.
"In this way, we can mobilise people who are limited in their movement and help them achieve other goals more easily," concludes Harald.